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Refusing treatment on religious grounds

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    ETA. Hang on, please tell me that you aren't suggesting that insanity and religious belief are the same thing.

    They are clearly not exactly the same thing.

    But if one criterion for being insane is holding beliefs that are totally unjustifiable with reference to any available evidence, then there is one similarity, anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    But if one criterion for being insane is holding beliefs that are totally unjustifiable with reference to any available evidence.

    The whole world is insane then ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    But if one criterion for being insane is holding beliefs that are totally unjustifiable with reference to any available evidence, then there is one similarity, anyway.

    So, what are you arguing here. That someone with religious beliefs cannot use that as a basis for refusing treatment?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For you to be deemed competent of giving consent, then the medical professional has to believe that you fully understand the consequences and potential risks of receiving or not receiving the treatment for which consent is being sought.

    The reason for you making that decision is (almost) immaterial. The simple question is does the patient fully understand the risks, potential complications and consequences of their decision.

    I say almost immaterial because it also has to be clear that the patient is making the decision themselves, not under pressure from relatives or others.

    I would assume in this case that the people treating the patient would have gone to great lengths to make sure that he had every opportunity to say he wanted the transfusion despite his parents, and excuses would have been found to remove his parents from the room so the doctor could speak to the boy on his own. There's also the option of giving a blood transfusion with the patients consent and keeping it secret from their relatives.

    I would much much rather have things this way around than a black and white line on consent.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Does that depress you ?

    No, that's just a trendy illness. ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    So, what are you arguing here. That someone with religious beliefs cannot use that as a basis for refusing treatment?

    No, not necessarily. But neither do I think religious beliefs should be sacrosanct, or held with such reverence that we can never question whether someone's adherence to a particular religious view provides them with good reasons to refuse treatment.

    In the case of most adults, it is likely to be the case that we have to respect their religious views, because we can't know whether they formed them freely and rationally or were brainwashed into holding them. But with children, it's much, much more difficult, because they possibly haven't been given sufficient opportunities to question their doctrine or to form an alternative point of view. This case is difficult because of the age of the boy in question.

    The question of whether someone is capable of fully understanding the risks, potential complications and consequences of their decision seems problematic here. Presumably he did understand that he was likely to die if he refused treatment. Unfortunately, he also thought that he would be going to hell if he accepted treatment. If I understand the risks of refusing treatment, but believe that the monster living under my bed will torture me if I go ahead with the treatment, I imagine most people would say we should treat me against my will, because my understanding of the consequences is flawed and irrational. But religion is a sufficiently mainstream belief for us not to want to call it irrational.

    It's not about imposing moral views on anybody, it's about preventing needless death where we can. The interesting thing is that lots of people are worrying about the idea that if we intervene, we are forcing our moral beliefs on someone. But nobody seems to notice that the biggest perpetrators of this particular crime is parents, to their children. And in this particular case, imposing their moral view has resulted in the boy's death. I think it's important for people with libertarian leanings with respect to our relationship with the state should notice that the more libertarian the state, the more authoritarian the family can become over children.

    I'm not saying I agree with Aladdin that we should somehow ban parents from indoctrinating their children; there's a practical question of enforcement, for a start. But this case sickens and upsets me, because a 15 year old has died, pointlessly, as a result of religious indoctrination and brainwashing, and it seems there is nothing society can do to prevent it happening. That to me seems horrifically wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    But this case sickens and upsets me, because a 15 year old has died, pointlessly, as a result of religious indoctrination and brainwashing, and it seems there is nothing society can do to prevent it happening. That to me seems horrifically wrong.

    The alternative is that you could glory in a society that believe personal freedom is so important that a person can refuse treatment for any reason they choose, provided that they are deemed competant to understand the risks, without being forced into something against their will.

    Do I think that this death is regretable? Yes. Do I think that the state should intervene? Absolutely not.

    For me this case is no different to that surrounding terminations. The choice should never belong to the state, even if I disagree with the choices people make.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The boy made a decision based upon his own conviction.

    Whatever people's opinion on religion, it was his choice to refuse the treatment and we should respect that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    The alternative is that you could glory in a society that believe personal freedom is so important that a person can refuse treatment for any reason they choose, provided that they are deemed competant to understand the risks, without being forced into something against their will.

    .

    If you think there is anything about this case to "glory in", then you're seriously fetishizing the value of freedom above all other things.

    Freedom isn't intrinsically valuable. It's valuable for the things it enables us to do, the goals and projects it enables us to pursue.

    This boy is free, and dead. What a victory for freedom.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    If you think there is anything about this case to "glory in", then you're seriously fetishizing the value of freedom above all other things.

    Freedom isn't intrinsically valuable. It's valuable for the things it enables us to do, the goals and projects it enables us to pursue.

    This boy is free, and dead. What a victory for freedom.

    In this instance someone died, as I said that is something to regret. But the freedom allowed in this case is the same one which allows women to choose to have terminations or not, for young girls to have contraception (regardless of parental pressure) for example.

    I value that. All freedoms come with a price, don't think I ignore that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    Presumably he did understand that he was likely to die if he refused treatment.

    How did he know ? More importantly, how do you know ?
    jamelia wrote: »
    Unfortunately, he also thought that he would be going to hell if he accepted treatment.

    Mind reader, perchance ?
    jamelia wrote: »
    And in this particular case, imposing their moral view has resulted in the boy's death.

    How did you reach that conclusion ? Do you know his parents ? Are you claiming to be an expert on crush injuries ?
    jamelia wrote: »
    But this case sickens and upsets me, because a 15 year old has died, pointlessly, as a result of religious indoctrination and brainwashing

    I thought he died as a result of being severely crushed by a motor vehicle. It seems you are privy to the post mortem results.
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